Ontario is generally considered to be the most advanced jurisdiction in Canada - and perhaps including the United States - in Municipal Cultural Planning. Part of the reason for this goes to the Municipal Cultural Planning Inc. (a unique conglomerate of private and public interests that supports and promotes cultural planning and research) and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture.
The Ministry has been very supportive of cultural planning, and understands the economic benefits it can bring to local communities. In a unique program, the Ontario Ministry has been providing grants to towns, cities and counties, as well as First Nations and support groups, to undertake cultural planning projects, ranging from mapping to comprehensive community cultural plans. The program is called the Creative Communities Prosperity Fund (CCPF) and is a tremendous success. It is always over-subscribed. The program generally provides up to 80% of the cost for smaller municipalities, and up to 50% of the cost for larger communities.
This program offers brilliant leadership by a government ministry, and to the best of my knowledge is absolutely unique in North America. It is not surprising, therefore, that Ontario is such a leader in municipal cultural planning. This is a program and a concept that other provinces should be considering to assist their own towns and cities to undertake a municipal cultural plan.
GORD HUME. Author of "The Local Food Revolution" and other books. www.gordhume.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org